Bot River is one of my favourite wine valleys in the Western Cape. They are just over an hour out of Cape Town on route to Grabouw, offering beautifully crafted wines and a down-to-earth community that welcomes you to their gorgeous farms in the Overberg. From 1-3 September the valley will once again open their doors, celebrating their Spring Weekend where visitors can enjoy a rainbow of colour-themed festivities at the participating farms.
“The wineries of Bot River are truly a welcoming community and the Spring Weekend is one of our favourite occasions to showcase our farms and the riches to be found on them,” says Melissa Nelsen of Genevieve MCC.
“This is what makes Bot River a real rainbow village, a place we’re proud to call our home. And this is what our Over the Rainbow Spring Weekend is all about. It’s a celebration of the diversity of our village in all its magnificent colour and swag.”
The weekend festivities kick off on Friday 1 September with the Best of Bot Wines dinner prepared by Forage Restaurant’s Executive Chef Gregory Henderson. His skills will be matched by Higgo Jacobs, head of the SA Association of Sommeliers, and fellow sommelier Ewan Mackenzie. Together they will present an expert food and wine pairing showcase at Wildekrans Wine Estate. Tickets cost R850pp through Quicket and include a weekend pass.
On Saturday and Sunday the various Bot River wineries will each turn on the charms, following a particular colour theme. You can look forward to special offerings at Arcangeli Family Vineyards, Barton Vineyards, Villion Wines; Luddite Wines, Genevieve MCC, Beaumont Family Wines, Gabrielskloof Wine Estate, Rivendell Estate & Vineyards, Paardenkloof Estate and Maremmana Estate.
Arcangeli Wines has taken on Violet, offering a BARolo wine bar with an Italian-South African twist and a rare food and wine experience. Head to Barton Wines for a tint of orange and a lot of fun, from burgers to paintball, wine blending to tractor rides. Enter the wine blending competition and stand a chance to win a two-night stay in one of the Barton Villas.
Wildekrans will go pink for the weekend, serving up its MCC Brut Rosé as you enter its gates. Enjoy a light meal at the wine tasting room or something more formal at Forage; bring the kids for tractor rides and the jungle gym too. Villion Family Wines represents red. Book your table and don’t forget your comfortable shoes for the Spit & Skoffel dinner dance on 2 September from 19:30. They will be serving Overberg lamb on the spit, with complimentary wines per table and a wine bar too. The event takes place at the Afdaksrivier Nursery and tickets for the three-course dinner, wines and dance are only R385pp.
Luddite will shine silver. In addition to latest vintage releases on offer, including the alluring Saboteur White 2017, there will be the extraordinary food truck run by Jason from Jason Bakery in Cape Town.
Meanwhile Beaumont Family Wines laid claim to blue and will serve a vertical tasting of the Hope Marguerite, a benchmark South African Chenin blanc. Have kids? Don’t worry: there’s a childminder on duty for the whole weekend, catered lunch and daily activities.
Genevieve MCC will be decked out in turqoise, with breakfast and bubbles at their new home on Klein Botrivier Farm on the Karwyderskraal Road. Grub’s up at 09:00 to 11:30, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are R200; booking is essential and should be made through Quicket or at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also pop in for a tasting; learn to sabrage a bottle, and linger longer with cheese and charcuterie platters.
Mellow yellow is the colour of Gabriëlskloof Estate, a stunning, family-friendly destination surrounded by wheat and canola fields. The restaurant menu will be inspired by spices and heritage cooking with mielies, curried fish, bobotie and the like. For something lighter, try the tasting room’s new Mzansi Tapas Taster platters at R250/couple which comes with 4 estate wines to taste. Kids under 12 eat for free from the kiddies menu.
For Rivendell Estate & Vineyards, there’s the shimmer of gold. Settle in for a special wine and canapé tasting plate in the spirit of spring.
And finally, the essence of the season is reflected in green at Paardenkloof Ecology Lifestyle Farm. Enjoy wine tasting and a festival of fynbos in their Garden Restaurant and farm market. Attend a talk on landscaping with fynbos, each day at 09:00, and order a picnic basket for lunch. Bring the children to explore the veggie patch and petting zoo, or monkey about on the jungle gym. Then wrap up each day from 17:00 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with an evening of live jazz, pizza and sundowners: tickets are R180pp and must be booked by contacting email@example.com or 079 504 3593.
Sundowners will also be served up at Maremmana Polo Estate, where you can relax with a drink and a boerewors roll. The rainbow bar opens on Saturday evening from 17:00 to 19:30.
Dates: The Bot River Oover the Rainbow Spring Weekend takes place from 1-3 September 2017
Tickets for the 2017 Bot River Over the Rainbow Spring Weekend cost R100 per person and can be purchased, along with tickets to individual events. Tickets can be purchased at quicket.co.za unless otherwise specified.
The weekend pass includes an armband and wine glass, which you may collect at the Bot River tourism office. Quicket stations will also be at Beaumont, Gabriëlskloof, and Wildekrans on the weekend. Youngsters under 18 years may enter for free.
For accommodation options in the area visit: botriverwines.com.
For more information on the Bot River Over the Rainbow Spring Weekend 2017 contact Melissa Nelsen at cell: 083 302 6562 or email Melissa@genevievemcc.co.za.